When It Is Time To Cut Your Family Loose

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When It Is Time To Cut Your Family Loose

Historically all societies and cultures place great importance on the value of family. Indeed, our family plays a vital role in the development of our identity. Through our family, we learn our history, our values, and form our core beliefs. We feel bound to our family, and we are expected to love our family.


What happens though, in the case where our family might be toxic to our well-being? It is not at all rare for a family, instead of supporting the individual to grow under a frame of safety and acceptance, to control and restrict them from developing into their true selves. The toxic family background is commonly seen in individuals who develop psychiatric disorders or a substance abuse disorder. Especially in the latter case, this is normal to happen as the grown child tries to escape the pain that their family causes them. Psychiatrists and mental health specialists advise that, in such cases, unless the entire family agrees to undergo therapy, the only solution left for the individual who wants to achieve a fulfilling life is to escape the family altogether and create actual distance.


Here we see the main reasons why it is time to cut the ties off a toxic family:


1. You can't change them


People do change. But we cannot change anyone but ourselves. Do not expect that anyone will change, no matter how close they are to you, just because you want them to and believing that they will. If your close ones are not in a position to acknowledge that they do require self-improvement, it is not possible that they will.


2. It is unlikely they will apologise


Toxic people are too self-centred to put themselves in someone else's shoes and empathise with their feelings. They simply are not able to, as they are wrapped up in their own web of insecurities, their own 'complex', that does not allow them to focus on anything but protecting their ego from potentially being damaged. The potential threat that they always expect to come, may not correspond to reality at all, it often does not, and usually is just an imagined threat. But, it is implausible to hear an apology from a person who is hypervigilant in such a way. For putting themselves in your shoes, and thus offering a sincere apology would entail traumatising their ego.



3. You enjoy your time most when you are away from them


You have probably spent more time than you could wish for, doing things with, and for, your family. Sometimes you even find yourself thinking and talking about your family, trying to rationalise, or rather, trying to find grounds to constitute their behaviour as normal. But at the end of the day, you find yourself bitter from wasting your time and energy, on agonising over a toxic family, instead of investing it on you.


4. You feel worn down after meeting them


No matter how positive you may be, spending time with toxic family members will leave you mentally tired and confused. If you see them rarely, it might not have a visible impact on your life. But if you have to meet them or be in touch with them regularly, you end up internalising their negativity. This impedes you from maintaining a healthy lifestyle and halts your personal development.


5. They disrespect and hurt you


Toxic family members are often arrogant, criticising, and implicitly insulting. Even in relatively easy conversations, you find yourself feeling disrespected and irritated. When you leave hurt and demeaned, it is normal to want to avoid contact, as this will protect you from getting hurt again. They will probably make you feel guilty for avoiding them, but remember that you have every reason to do so. And it is especially unfair to you being accused of doing something wrong after they were the ones who hurt you in the first place.


6. They betray your trust


Sometimes the very people we learn to trust and to depend on turn out to betray us. You might have told them a secret, and they may have failed to keep it. Sometimes it turns out the whole family gets involved in your personal life. This is a form of abuse and a violation of your right to privacy.


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Thinking Humanity: When It Is Time To Cut Your Family Loose
When It Is Time To Cut Your Family Loose
Historically all societies and cultures place great importance on the value of family. Indeed, our family plays a vital role in the development of our identity. Through our family, we learn our history, our values, and form our core beliefs. We feel bound to our family, and we are expected to love our family.
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